Saturday, August 25, 2007

Movies we have watched and some observations thereof

In the last two weekends, we've watched the following movies in reverse order:

300
Aeon Flux
Hollywoodland
The Queen
The History Boys

300 - lush visually, fairly simplistic but we'd both read the graphic novel, so no surprises. We kept counting the ways the lead kept slipping into brogue and comparing him to Sean Connery. We also spent some time speculating on the computer effects.

Aeon Flux - better than we'd been led to believe, not extraordinary, but then, while we enjoyed the original, strange shorts, we weren't 'in love' with them, so not wedded to them. I thought it a decent, basic sci-fi story and I was happy that the Kwisatz Haderach of this was female. [Sidenote: apparently when a friend of mine saw The Matrix in the theater, someone stood up at the end stood up and yelled, "He is the Kwisatz Haderach." That was exactly why my husband didn't like The Matrix. I said, "There are a lot of Messiah's in sci-fi; get over it." He said, "Yes, but they don't have to be Keanu Reeves."] A large portion of our enjoyment was the fact that Charlize Theron took the role as seriously as possible.

Did you notice how last year there were numerous films that seemed to come out in pairs? The Prestige/The Illusionist, Aeon Flux/Ultraviolet, Blood Rayne/Underworld II, and the next one with Black Dahlia. Oddly enough, the night we watched Aeon Flux, Ultraviolet was playing on another channel.

Hollywoodland - again, better than we'd been told it was, again, primarily because of the commitment of the actors, not because of the quality of the film. I have never really watched the George Reeves Superman's, so had nothing to compare, but I think Ben Affleck really worked hard at it. Adrian Brody is always good, and it's always a joy to see Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins

The Queen - Another performance driven. I am sorry that the weekend I saw the two highbrow films I was trying to work on things for work, and so missed a lot of the subtlety. Helen--divine, of course. She made HRH very sympathetic--a woman of a different age trying to understand why people were behaving (in her eyes) badly.
Something that hit me as I watched was the corrections that Blair's team give to her for her speech. She's the bloody QUEEN and yet they gave her small, humanizing corrections. I guess you never get to a point where you get to just say--that's it, my word goes (this relates to my feelings at work). Of course, she could have told them to shove off (there's a funny image) and they would have to. I guess Prince Phillip rather does that.
A couple of months ago, Mirror followed the story of a monologist who's work was attacked and boycotted DURING a show. The church group got up and marched out and one man poured water on the script. The proverbial straw was when he pondered what it would be like to "Bleep" Paris H*!ton. He said, "You're thinking, 'I'm Bleeping Paris H*!ton,' and she's thinking, 'I'm Bleeping Paris H*!ton." (emphasis mine). I was thinking, what must it be like to get up every morning and know that you are THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND? Stressful, I would imagine, but quite literally and appropriately, noblesse oblige.

The History Boys - I'd read the play and loved it. I love Alan Bennett in all his catty, erudite glory. Unfortunately, because I'd read it, I didn't focus on it, and I'm sure missed some lovely acting. Fortunately, the writing is so good, I shall gladly see it again--although I missed the great chunks that they cut out. My husband, who has not read the play, enjoyed it very much.

(Mirror, do you have a copy?)

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